The Story of Discourse 10: Pia’s Leaves

Far down the list of women you have known is a girl named Pia. She was strange, beautiful, artistic. She was the one who on a whim painted all the leaves of a lovely red Maple green. The fight that ended your relationship started with that tree. At the time, you imagined yourself thoughtful. She was only ‘artistic’. Both of you had a little to drink and were careless with words. You told her it didn’t matter what she had done to the tree. The leaves were still red. She said the color depended. “On what?” I said. “If you love me, the leaves are green. If you don’t, they are red,” she said with tears starting in her eyes. I blew up. I don’t remember what I said after that. Some kind of horrible lecture about propositional logic? I might have even used the words “mutually exclusive”? What I do remember was at the end of the night, after we had yelled, cried, and eventually broken up, her telling me that language is flexible like an artist, not uptight like a philosopher. Twenty years later in the doldrums of a long marriage with a degree or two in uptightness behind me, she might be right. Pia!

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